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11-19-2015

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Graphics Cards for M93P

2015-11-19, 2:41 AM

So, I just bought a Lenovo M93P and I wanted to figure out what to do with a graphics card when I got it. I bought it with an Nvidia GeForce GT620. I'm wondering if I can put in a second card and if so, which ones are good? I was thinking about getting a GTX 950 (or 2) and putting them in the computer. I have no idea how to do this sort of thing and this is my first time tinkering at all with a computer. While I know people who can help me with the actual installation I wasn't sure what the M93P can handle (it's a tower), i.e. can I put two graphics cards in, should I leave the one I have in and get something for it or get 2 and put them in, etc etc. Any help is appreciated.

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2923 Posts

06-13-2013

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Re: Graphics Cards for M93P

2015-11-19, 10:45 AM

There are a number of threads on this subject on this forum.  Do some browsing or searching, and you'll find answers.  Even the threads shown at the bottom of this page as "Recommendations" are helpful as the automatic equivalent of "search".

 

If you don't have an interest in updating the Power Supply in the stock M93p tower, then you have limits on the options available.  The 280W PSU can't support monster graphics upgrades which require additional PCIe power that is simply not available from the Lenovo PSU.

 

Also, I don't know why you would have any need to add a SECOND graphics card???  What is your intent?  Objective?  Multiple monitor support? You can do that with any decent graphics card.  I would suggest that it's a bit late to not order your existing GT620, but your best bet now if you're not satisfied with it is to just replace it.

 

I actually never order the M93p machines I build for friends/family with a graphics upgrade from Lenovo.  I get them "stock" (to save money) and then just add a modern low-power good-performance discrete graphics card in the $100 price range. For SFF M93p machines (which require low-profile cards as well as low-power cards) I install the AMD R7-250.

 

For M93p tower machines I install the EVGA GTX 750ti SC card (2GB DDR5), which is "short" so it fits perfectly inside, is low-power, and is a very good performing card. You really can't do better than this card and not get involved with a PSU upgrade (which is a bit of a project, and also requires a 24->14 pin adapter for main power to the motherboard becuse Lenovo's boards don't have standard onboard power connector).

 

All you need to do is remove your GT620 card (sorry, you didn't need to buy it) and replace it with the GTX 750ti. 2 minutes and about $110 and you're up and running. The card has 3 digital connectors (DVI, Displayport, HDMI) and no VGA.  You can of course run multiple monitors.

 

Don't forget to do an update to the latest nVidia retail graphics driver.  Same with using Lenovo System Updates to get the latest drivers for the rest of the hardware/software on your M93p.

 

One more item... I also normally add another 4GB (purchased from Crucial and guaranteed compatible with the M93p, not from Lenovo) to the stock 4GB M93p machine I buy from Lenovo.  I order them with Win7 Pro x64 pre-installed (downgrade rights from Win8 or Win10), just because that's what I want.  But most importantly the machine really needs 8GB of memory for optimal performance no matter what Windows you have installed.

 

Again, the M93p is a fine machine.  But economics dictate that both memory, graphics, hard drive (e.g. upgrade to SSD), etc., are best obtained from your own online purchase of your own desired hardware upgrades, while buying a minimal stock M93p from Lenovo.  I usually get the 1TB spinner SATA drive (since it's only $20 extra from Lenovo) and then buy a Samsung 850 Pro SSD myself, and add it as a second internal drive inside the M93p case.  I use Macrium Reflect to "clone" the pre-installed OS from the Lenovo-provided SATA drive onto the SSD which I then set in the BIOS to be the boot drive.  I then use Partition Wizard to delete all partitions from the Lenovo SATA spinner drive and create a new partition (or two) on it so as to re-purpose it to be a second "data" drive.

 

Finally, I also get an external 2TB USB 3.0 drive for use as the target for "backups".  I use Macrium Reflect to take regular weekly "system image" backups, and use NovaBackup for monthly-FULL and nightly-INCREMENTAL "data" backups. Macrium Reflect "Free" supports "system image" backups, but to get "data" backup capability as well (folder/files, selective) you need the "Standard" version of the product (which is not free but is modestly priced).  I myself use Macrium Reflect Standard for my "system image" backups (as Standard has some additional benefits over Free, even just for "system image") and also use a separate second product NovaBackup Business Edition from Novastor for my "data" backups, simply because I like it and prefer it over Macrium Reflect Standard for that task.  Actually, NovaBackup PC would really work adequately for my needs. But in fact Macrium Reflect Standard can also be used for both "system image" and "data" backups, if you want to go with just one product.  In fact, NovaBackup itself also provides its own "system image" backup capability (though I prefer Macrium Reflect for that task) as well as "data" backups.  What's important is that you MUST have some backup scheme in place, for BOTH "system image" as well as for "data".  These are two separate needs.  This is just common sense.

 

If you have anything that's important to you (including a working operating Windows M93p machine!) you want to implement a standard regimen of regular ongoing automatic scheduled system image and data backups. Once you set this up, you'll never think about it as it just runs overnight automatically while you sleep.  But you'll always have that backup to recover from, in case some unexpected disaster strikes or in case you unwittingly lose or delete some data.  The backup schemes I implement provide 4 months of "bullet-proof integrity", both for a bootable problem-free Windows as well as for any of my data.

 

Word to the wise.

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2923 Posts

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  • Message 2 of 19

Re: Graphics Cards for M93P

2015-11-19, 10:45 AM

There are a number of threads on this subject on this forum.  Do some browsing or searching, and you'll find answers.  Even the threads shown at the bottom of this page as "Recommendations" are helpful as the automatic equivalent of "search".

 

If you don't have an interest in updating the Power Supply in the stock M93p tower, then you have limits on the options available.  The 280W PSU can't support monster graphics upgrades which require additional PCIe power that is simply not available from the Lenovo PSU.

 

Also, I don't know why you would have any need to add a SECOND graphics card???  What is your intent?  Objective?  Multiple monitor support? You can do that with any decent graphics card.  I would suggest that it's a bit late to not order your existing GT620, but your best bet now if you're not satisfied with it is to just replace it.

 

I actually never order the M93p machines I build for friends/family with a graphics upgrade from Lenovo.  I get them "stock" (to save money) and then just add a modern low-power good-performance discrete graphics card in the $100 price range. For SFF M93p machines (which require low-profile cards as well as low-power cards) I install the AMD R7-250.

 

For M93p tower machines I install the EVGA GTX 750ti SC card (2GB DDR5), which is "short" so it fits perfectly inside, is low-power, and is a very good performing card. You really can't do better than this card and not get involved with a PSU upgrade (which is a bit of a project, and also requires a 24->14 pin adapter for main power to the motherboard becuse Lenovo's boards don't have standard onboard power connector).

 

All you need to do is remove your GT620 card (sorry, you didn't need to buy it) and replace it with the GTX 750ti. 2 minutes and about $110 and you're up and running. The card has 3 digital connectors (DVI, Displayport, HDMI) and no VGA.  You can of course run multiple monitors.

 

Don't forget to do an update to the latest nVidia retail graphics driver.  Same with using Lenovo System Updates to get the latest drivers for the rest of the hardware/software on your M93p.

 

One more item... I also normally add another 4GB (purchased from Crucial and guaranteed compatible with the M93p, not from Lenovo) to the stock 4GB M93p machine I buy from Lenovo.  I order them with Win7 Pro x64 pre-installed (downgrade rights from Win8 or Win10), just because that's what I want.  But most importantly the machine really needs 8GB of memory for optimal performance no matter what Windows you have installed.

 

Again, the M93p is a fine machine.  But economics dictate that both memory, graphics, hard drive (e.g. upgrade to SSD), etc., are best obtained from your own online purchase of your own desired hardware upgrades, while buying a minimal stock M93p from Lenovo.  I usually get the 1TB spinner SATA drive (since it's only $20 extra from Lenovo) and then buy a Samsung 850 Pro SSD myself, and add it as a second internal drive inside the M93p case.  I use Macrium Reflect to "clone" the pre-installed OS from the Lenovo-provided SATA drive onto the SSD which I then set in the BIOS to be the boot drive.  I then use Partition Wizard to delete all partitions from the Lenovo SATA spinner drive and create a new partition (or two) on it so as to re-purpose it to be a second "data" drive.

 

Finally, I also get an external 2TB USB 3.0 drive for use as the target for "backups".  I use Macrium Reflect to take regular weekly "system image" backups, and use NovaBackup for monthly-FULL and nightly-INCREMENTAL "data" backups. Macrium Reflect "Free" supports "system image" backups, but to get "data" backup capability as well (folder/files, selective) you need the "Standard" version of the product (which is not free but is modestly priced).  I myself use Macrium Reflect Standard for my "system image" backups (as Standard has some additional benefits over Free, even just for "system image") and also use a separate second product NovaBackup Business Edition from Novastor for my "data" backups, simply because I like it and prefer it over Macrium Reflect Standard for that task.  Actually, NovaBackup PC would really work adequately for my needs. But in fact Macrium Reflect Standard can also be used for both "system image" and "data" backups, if you want to go with just one product.  In fact, NovaBackup itself also provides its own "system image" backup capability (though I prefer Macrium Reflect for that task) as well as "data" backups.  What's important is that you MUST have some backup scheme in place, for BOTH "system image" as well as for "data".  These are two separate needs.  This is just common sense.

 

If you have anything that's important to you (including a working operating Windows M93p machine!) you want to implement a standard regimen of regular ongoing automatic scheduled system image and data backups. Once you set this up, you'll never think about it as it just runs overnight automatically while you sleep.  But you'll always have that backup to recover from, in case some unexpected disaster strikes or in case you unwittingly lose or delete some data.  The backup schemes I implement provide 4 months of "bullet-proof integrity", both for a bootable problem-free Windows as well as for any of my data.

 

Word to the wise.

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3 Posts

12-31-2015

Lancaster, PA

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Re: Graphics Cards for M93P

2015-12-31, 1:02 AM

You indicate that it's possible to install the GTX750 card in the M93P tower case.  That card requires two spaces in the mounting brackets.  My machine has a Bluetooth adapter installed in the short PCI Express slot that is adjacent to the PCI graphics slot, which I assume will force me to choose between the GTX750 and BT.  In other posts I have seen the Sapphire Radeon R7 250 card recommended (I believe it was you making the recommendation) which requires only a single bracket space in the back.  Do you know whether this card will fit if the shorty PCI slot is occupied?

 

 

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Re: Graphics Cards for M93P

2015-12-31, 1:46 AM

First, you can move your Bluetooth adapter down one expansion slot south, from it's current "short" X1-only (26 on the motherboard layout shown on page 74 of the Hardware Maintenance Manual) to the larger "negotiable" x16/x4/x1 slot (25 on the motherboard layout).  That will free up that x1 slot space so that the double-wide full-size EVGA GTX750ti card can be installed in the primary x16 slot (27 on the motherboard layout) and use the now vacant space just to its south, as the card definitely uses up two slots of space.  The "negotiable" x16/x4/x1 slot 25 can hold your x1 card and it will not impact the performance of the graphics card inserted into the primary x16 slot 27.

 

Or, depending on the monitor connections you want to support, there is a single-width low-profile version of the GTX750 from MSI, which has fewer digital video connectors. It will only have 1xDVI and 1xHDMI.  The double-width EVGA full-size version of the card has 1xDVI, 1xHDMI and 1xDisplayport.  The double-width Gigabyte low-profile version of the card has 1xDVI, 2xHDMI and 1xDisplayport.  Note that all of the low-profile versions of the card come with two brackets, full-size and low-profile, so you can use these low-profile cards either in a SFF case or a tower case.

 

Or, yes it is true that the single-width low-profile Sapphire Radeon R7-250 can also be used.  It has 1xDVI, 1xmicroHDMI, and 1xminiDP.  Again, two size brackets in the box.  But it's not quite the same performer as the GTX 750ti cards.

 

In my opinion the best solution is to go with one of the GTX 750ti cards based on your connector needs. with your tower case you can go with a low-profile or full-size card, single-width or double-width.  And just shift your Bluetooth x1 card down one slot to make room for a double-wide graphics card if that's what you decide.

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12-31-2015

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Re: Graphics Cards for M93P

2015-12-31, 1:55 AM

Thanks!  I reached the same conclusion, but nice to have confirmation.

I'm discovering the true cost of an "enterprise" machine.   

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01-01-2012

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Re: Graphics Cards for M93P

2015-12-31, 2:00 AM

Try the BT card in the PCI express x16 slot that's adjacent to (and further away from the CPU) the short x1 slot.   Then you'll have two slots avail for the graphics card:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCI_Express

 

"A PCIe card will physically fit (and work correctly) in any slot that is at least as large as it is (e.g. an x1 card will work in a x4 or x16 slot), and a slot of a large physical size (e.g. x16) can be wired electrically with fewer lanes (e.g. x1 or x8; however, it must still provide the power and ground connections required by the larger physical slot size)."

 

For slot description, see page 12: 

 

http://www.lenovo.com/shop/americas/content/user_guides/m83m93p_tower_ug_en.pdf

 

 

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Re: Graphics Cards for M93P

2015-12-31, 2:05 AM
Just be aware that the fans on a low-profile card will be nosier than fans on a full height card. I use a full height dual slot Gigabyte 750 ti with dual fans and it's virtually silent for all but gaming activities.
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Re: Graphics Cards for M93P

2016-02-29, 5:13 AM

So the issue here is, which high-end Graphic Cards are compatible with the motherboard of the M93P.

 

The 750Ti is a tiny little card, I'm wondering about series 900 of GTX Nvidia.

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Re: Graphics Cards for M93P

2016-02-29, 15:43 PM

wrote:

 

The 750Ti is a tiny little card, I'm wondering about series 900 of GTX Nvidia.


You may think the 750 Ti is a tiny little card, but only certain models just fit from a size (and power/heat) perspective.   For the Nvidia 900 series, you'd want more of a gaming system (bigger case for the graphics card to fit, and more fans for heat dispersion), not a business system like the M93p.  

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Re: Graphics Cards for M93P

2016-03-01, 4:41 AM
I know that, and that's why I'm wondering which cards can run on the motherboard of the M93P, pretty obviously with a properly upgrade kit, I'm talking about a new and high performance PSU and a high end video card like the GTX 900 series, careless about the case I can upgrade it too.
I just want the know if the mother can support these cards
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